December 12, 2012

Opportunity in Bayview! Buyer To Investigate To Their Satisfaction

121211-gilman-250KToday’s feature caught our eye on a political site’s discussion area that doesn’t usually get into real estate. The topic was those disadvantaged $250K a year families who are going to get dinged with new taxes, which is so unfair!  These put-upon engines of economic advancement are hardly making it!  Why after spending all their take-home pay on a high-priced mortage or rent payments, private school or college tuition for the kiddies, sky-high taxes, fully funding their retirement plans, restaurants, gifts, vacations, clothing, cable (of course including HBO and Showtime), utilities, cleaning services (housekeeper and pool) 16 cell phone lines, internet, car payments for the new BMW, the current Mercedes and the old (2011) Audi, why before you know it these unfortunate folks in the top 5% are barely clearing anything!

Fortunately, one of the respondents noted that living in San Francisco really did not have to cost so much.  We thank our political participants for pointing us to this house.

121211-gilman-trulia1055 Gilman Avenue
San Francisco CA 94124
Price:  $200,000

Bedrooms: 2 
Bathrooms: 1
63 days on Trulia
3,442 views
Property type: Single-Family Home
Size: 950 sqft
Lot: Ask agent
Price/sqft: $211/sqft
Year built: 1908
MLS/ID: 401812
Neighborhood: Bayview, 94124

Opportunity In Bayview! Close To Gilman Rec, Brete Harte Elementary And Steps To Candlestick Park. Some Interior Walls And Flooring Have Been Removed. Buyer To Investigate To Their Satisfaction. Property Is Not Being Shown At This Time, Please Check Back After October 29Th.

While the property is still Not Being Shown At This Time, seeing is believing!

121211-gilman-front121211-gilman-floor121211-gilman-back121211-gilman-window121211-gilman-open-plan121211-gilman-bath

This home has potential all over, especially In The Electrical Wiring.  You’ll have no trouble confirming this, what with Some Interior Walls and Flooring helpfully Removed.

Comments (29) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am






December 9, 2012

10 Least Affordable Metros: We Are Number 2. You Are Number 6.

CNN/Money has another one of their Most/Least/Best/Worst/Good/Evil slideshows that could have been presented as a table, but then they'd get ten fewer click-throughs. This time it's one of our favorite regional competitions, for 10 Least Affordable Cities for buying. Actually it's Least Affordable Metros, but it sounds better if they call them cities, even if a couple of them are known locales for multiple Portals to Hell and very few yachts or polo ponies.

10 least affordable cities to buy a home

BY LES CHRISTIE @CNNMONEY – LAST UPDATED NOVEMBER 29 2012 02:02 PM ET

Looking to buy a home? You may want to skip these places. Prices are either so high or incomes so low that many families can't afford to buy homes here, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

Anyway, we lost to New York City again, which is just so unfair. This isn't even an SF to Manhattan comparison, so we should have kicked serious butt here. However, California totally owns the Least Coast as far as leaderboard spots, and Washington DC didn't even qualify. We present the results in one easy list, so you don't have to click through their annoying one-city-at-a-time-gee-who-could-be-next-and-if-this-was-so-exciting-why-didn't-they-put-it-in-reverse-order-Top-Ten-List-style?

  1. New York, where 28.5% of homes are affordible. They seemed impressed by $1100 a square foot, too. But they didn't define the boundaries of any of these metro areas, so of course we can (and will) complain we were cheated on geographical grounds. We doubt this was an apples-to-Big-Apples comparison.
  2. San Francisco, 31.4%. The piece laments it's unaffordable all over, because nearby communities are also expensive. Nearby high-priced places such as Sausalito, Berkeley, and… wait for it… Daly City. We swear we are not making this up.
  3. Santa Ana, 43.5%. I kid you not. Perhaps the nearby beach towns are pulling up its results. And Disneyland. Because Santa Ana is not what comes to mind when we think “delightful but so unaffordable California real estate.”
  4. Los Angeles, 44.1%. Because “bunus” hydrocarbons and ozone raise home prices. Seriously, when did LA rediscover the bubbly?
  5. Bridgeport, Connecticut, 44.2%. Look, if you have to tell us what state the metro is in, maybe it isn't really worth mentioning. Just sayin'.
  6. San Jose, 46.2%. Above is the lovely photo they used to feature the Capital of Silicon Valley, probably because the Quetzlcoatl statue made the photog drop a perfectly good camera. Not one other metro had a freeway interchange featured. Not even Los Angeles, which loves its freeways so much they get definite articles. We suspect they're also putting their thumb on the scale by adding in San Benito County.
  7. Honolulu, 48.8%. Houses cost more because of good weather, expensive shipping, and hotel jobs pay squat. But they get a photo with palm trees.
  8. San Diego, 54.6%. Here the filler text spends more time lamenting the glory days of 6% affordability during the last bubble. Well screw you, because we're already on our next one.
  9. Newark, 55.3%. No, not that one, in New Jersey. Although Newark itself is cheap. It's la-di-da luxury locales like Hoboken and Jersey City that cost the big bucks. We're sure it's a complete coincidence that NJ made the list even though the feature author's surname is Christie.
  10. El Paso, 61.7%.This is an honest case of low overall incomes ($41.7K) as opposed to expensive housing ($141K).

Let us know if you find any of these results surprising, or what you plan to do to ensure we never lose to New York or LA or The OC ever again.. Or mention anything you want, because this is Your Weekend Open Thread.

 

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

December 2, 2012

UPDATED: Got an extra house or two taking up space in your portfolio?

Donate that unneeded realty to charity!  UCSF is ready to take that spare structure off your swollen asset list.  Thanks to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for passing this handy space-saving tip along.

121201-ucsf_1

Not only that, if you donate RBA real estate, you could get your picture in a newletter like this!  There’s more, too!  See, lots of people are giving it away! Don’t be the last on your block to give away your other block!

121201-ucsf_combined_2_3

Do you have any other ideas of what to do with your excess real estate?

Updated 17:53 — PG asked that you be given the privilege of actually reading this newsletter. A larger version of Page 1 is now available by clicking its image above, as well as a larger combined spread.  Here, separately, are Page 2 and Page 3.

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:20 am

November 25, 2012

Black Friday All Week Long! San Francisco Savings!

121122-blackfridayLet’s continue our DEALS DEALS DEALS as we look at the cheapest houses in every one of the Bay Area Counties, and then in some favorite cities!  Today, “The City by the Bay.”  Wait, if you live in the Bay Area, that means some of your County is already by the Bay. 

Okay, today’s Black Friday DEAL is from The City In San Francisco County By The Bay.  Game on!

 

121124-harkness-redfin320 Harkness
San Francisco, CA 94124
$359,000

2 Beds 
1 Baths 
840 Sq. Ft.
$427 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1900 
Lot Size: — 
On Redfin: 5 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Junior, Single-Family Home
Community: Visitacion Valley
MLS#: 403079
Style: Contemporary
County: San Francisco

Short sale subject to lender approval. Tax records show 2 bds, 1ba; however, there are 2 bds and 1 ba downstairs–currently unknown as to legality. Owner occupied, vacant at COE. Open Sunday, Nov. 25 from 2-4pm. Agents please see agent remarks.

Yes, you can check out this 112 year old “Contemporary” at the Open House today!  Let us know about the legality of what you find downstairs.  Note that during our Black Friday Deals we are not responsible for the loss or misplacement of any street name qualifiers.

You know what else this property offers?

121124-harkness-listing-history

Instant equity, baby!  It’s Baaaaaack!

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

November 8, 2012

“San Francisco Rental Market Drives Applicants to Extremes”

Now that this silly, inconsequential, election is over, we can focus on what we do best here in the Bay Area – increase housing prices. I’m so glad the election is over because now everyone can stop spending on campaigns, and spend more on buying homes. Or paying more in rent.

Recently, I read this piece and… well… frankly I was infuriated:

San Francisco Rental Market Drives Applicants to Extremes

by Sam Harnett | October 23, 2012 — 7:57 AM

San Francisco’s rental market usually cools down in the fall, but not this year. The average asking price for a one-bedroom in the city is now $2,673 a month, up more than 10 percent from last year. This big rent increase reflects a housing shortage fueled on one side by the recent wave of tech hires and the other by an absence of new units. In response, apartment hunting has returned to the frenzy of the dot-com boom, with prospective applicants packing open houses, forking over application fees and even engaging in bidding wars just to secure a temporary place to live.

I experienced this superheated market firsthand. My girlfriend and I spent three months this summer searching for an apartment. We saw over two dozen one-bedrooms, most for more than $2,200 a month, and almost all of them completely horrible. We’re talking shag carpet, mold, and converted garages with no windows. Even the worst places we saw drew crowds. The open houses were like some twisted beauty contest where you had five minutes to tell your entire life story, woo the landlord, and leave everyone else in the dust. Emil Meek puts it perfectly: the process “turns you into a monster.”

I met Meek and his girlfriend Alma Freeman outside of a packed open house in Potrero Hill. They are in their mid-30s and both have that stretched-out look of put-on smiles and constant heartbreak. Meek is a landscaper and Freeman works for a non-profit downtown. They have great credit and collectively earn $110,000 a year, but they still can’t find a place. Freeman says “it feels a little bit like you are looking on the sidelines and not really able to compete.” The desperation of the search has made them manic. They are arriving to open houses as much as an hour early, peeking into the windows to try and scope the place out, and doing everything in their power to get their application in before anyone else.

Even more worrisome Meek says, is how the process corrupts everyone involved. At one place they saw, the landlord was running a bidding war like it was some kind of game show. The couple had actually met the same landlord a week earlier at a different apartment, and there he had said he was looking to fill the vacancy with “just the right person.” At the second place, the “right person” had come to mean whoever was willing to pay the most money. He looked around at all the applicants and then said “sorry, it’s San Francisco!” As disgusted as the couple was, it didn’t stop them from putting down a bid of their own.

[snip]

Good grief.

1. These people should be pouring their money into mortgages and driving up prices, instead of being selfish, non-citizens and renting. Sheesh.

2. These landlords are such novices. Really? Only judging people by their incomes. You can do better than that! Let’s look at how professionals do it. Time for a flash from the past:

Home Front: Sellers can be choosers

June 17, 2005 12:00 am

By Amir Efrati / The Wall Street Journal

Within a month of putting her two-bedroom house in San Francisco on the market recently, homeowner Linda Gao had five offers, each one above her asking price of $699,000. So before accepting the most-attractive bid, she threw in an extra condition: If you want to buy my house, you have to feed the squirrels.

Two weeks later, she and the buyer hammered out a contract that included feeding the backyard wildlife, which Ms. Gao has done three times a week for the past two years. "I don’t think it matters if it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market," Ms. Gao says. "Anyone with a good heart would feed them."

In this booming real-estate market, prospective home buyers are encountering some unorthodox requests. As sellers are barraged by eager bidders, they’re seeking not only the highest price or wrangling over who’ll pick up taxes and closing costs — but some also are asking to stay in the house months after the deal closes, or requesting fixtures that typically stay with the property, such as refrigerators and diving boards. In Tempe, Ariz., one seller invited bidders to sit for interviews until he found one he thought his neighbors would like. A homeowner in San Antonio was happy to let her house go, but only to a buyer who promised not to renovate it.

"As a buyer you have no leverage in this market," says Bruce Ross Bernor, an agent in San Francisco. "You have to bite your tongue and go along with it."

[snip]

Some buyers aren’t eager to give ground. After Lisa Lai Fook offered the $499,000 asking price for a town house in Oakland, Calif., last month, the seller asked her to write a letter describing her background. Ms. Lai Fook walked away. "I’m really busy," says the 33-year-old chemical engineer. "To sit there and write a letter to someone I don’t know after I’ve put down a ridiculous sum of money is insulting."

Let’s face it… if you’re a property owner (a good person), if you’re not being demeaning and cruel to non-property owners, you’re not doing your job in helping those people understand their place in society.

Landlords! It’s time to turn up the heat! Demand that free cuddling be part of the lease! Demand that the renters feed the neighborhood capybara. Don’t have a capybara? Get one so that they have to feed it! Ask them to take a Meyers-Briggs test – but then throw it away just to make them understand you wanted them to waste their time.

Do it for the good of the Bay Area!

If you were a landlord, what would you do to renters?

Comments (9) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:55 am

October 26, 2012

Architec-designed living in the heart of SOMA

It’s time for your weekend!  How about spending it somewhere exciting, like the big city?  (Noooo, we do not mean San Jose.) We’re willing to go toe to toe with the San Francisco real estate blogs when we have to, and when we have to is when it comes to listing fail.  Here’s an Unhappy Hipsters-inspired example of Better Living Through Concrete, courtesy of Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer.  Thanks very much for this snug single in SF!

121025-harrison-redfin766 Harrison St
San Francisco, CA 94107
$349,000

HOA Dues: $265/mo.
0 Beds
1 Baths
292 Sq. Ft.
$1,195 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2008
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 1 day
Status: Active
HOA Dues: $265/month
Style: Contemporary, Modern/High Tech
County: San Francisco
Property Type: Condominium, Studio
Community: Yerba Buena
MLS#: 402288

Architec-designed living in the heart of SOMA. Cubix is a contemporary community located in th Yerba Buena Arts District. George Hauser designed this modern studio resindence 121025-harrison-buildingwhich faces Northwest. Stylishly appointed home with concrete radient heat floors, newly upgraded full kitchen with Bosch appliances and cabinetry, and a balcony. Rare storage is included. Green building features lansdcaped roof deck, BBQ, glass-enclosed outdoor picnic area for private parties, succulent garden. Epicenter Cafe is conveniently located on the first floor. Great location next to Whole Foods, SFMOMA, Metreon.

121025-harrison-kitchenNot only is it architec-designed, it looks like it was architec-spellchecked as well.  This resindence features radient heat floors and a lansdcaped roof deck.  It also features architec-design suggestive of The Stacks.

One way you know there was an architec involved: lots and lots and lots of pictures of a 292 square foot condo.  Bunus: a price per square foot that gives Palo Alto a shove in the shoulder and says, “Can you beat that? Huh? Huh? Can you?”

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

October 21, 2012

We’re Number… Three?

We lost out to both New York City and Washington DC, this time in the contest for the town with the highest earnings.  Here are the Top Ten, courtesy of CNN/Money, of the places with the highest median family incomes.

1 Bethesda, MD $184,606
2 Greenwich, CT $167,502
3 Palo Alto, CA $163,661
4 Newport Beach, CA $156,928
5 Lower Merion, PA $153,309
6 Ashburn, VA $146,093
7 Newton, MA $145,639
8 Hoboken, NJ $140,780
9 Brookline, MA $139,756
10 Fairfield, CT $136,808

People, this is not good. Not only did High Tech lose out to High Finance and High Crimes and Misdemeanors, but there’s Highly-wood right behind us. Also this list is disturbingly full of Least Coasters.

Here’s what they thought of The Specialest Place of Them All (Not Including Mountain View, because for Pete’s Sake, Palo Alto may be Special but it does Not Have Google Anymore).

3. Palo Alto, CA          3 of 25

121020-highincome-paPopulation: 65,260
Median family income: $163,661
Median home price: $1,225,000

Nestled in California’s Silicon Valley, Palo Alto has attracted a pile of tech companies — and their CEOs. Not only does tech granddaddy HP have its headquarters here, but so do newbies like Pinterest and Ning. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has a house in Palo Alto, as did Steve Jobs. Stanford University, which falls within its boundaries, adds to the city’s prestige.

Palo Alto nurtures startups and the money that results from their successes. Its residents reap the rewards. Area schools are exceptional, while the city has 35 parks and a Mediterranean climate that varies by only 20 degrees year-round.

See complete data and interactive map for Palo Alto

Did you know that Palo Alto’s climate was More Special than that of any of the surrounding Not As Special cities?  Perhaps Redwood City (Motto: Climate Best by Government Test) is going to have to come over and punch them out for getting airs.

Oh yeah, and Mark Zuckerberg is mostly hanging out in San Francisco these days.  Could he have picked up this little pied-a-terre?  Just kidding, that place was sold to a school, which is now awash in neighborhood NIMBY lawsuits.  But have a look at this SocketSite discussion and see if you can figure out where Mark bought.  Two possibilities: 366 Liberty or 376 Hill.

121020-highincome-mark

Comments (19) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:11 am

September 22, 2012

America’s Dirtiest Cities ignores Silicon Valley

120922-dirtiest-coverTravel & Leisure magazine really enjoys making all kinds of lists of cities, and their newest one is a doody.  Whoops, we mean a doozy, sorry.  They’ve just released a list of America’s Dirtiest Cities, which is merely a reverse ranking of the Cleanliness category on their Quality of Life index. They do love making lists.

T&L offers lists of the best city for singles, or for culture, or fine dining on their website, and they do an annual America’s Favorite Cities ranking that adds up a number of those qualities.  But one thing you won’t find is any mention of America’s tenth largest city, San Jose.

120922-dirtiest-tandlThere are only 35 cities on T&L’s lists, and as far as they’re concerned, San Jose is merely a very remote suburb of smaller but way more famous San Francisco.  (San Francisco ranks 14th in population and is a quarter the physical size of San Jose.)  The only other California cities on T&L’s rankings are Los Angeles and San Diego, both of which are larger than either Northern California nexus.  Cities they deem more worth your notice than San Jose include Baltimore, Portland (Maine), Savannah, Providence, and Kansas City.

Here’s the SF entry on the dirtiest cities list, and we’ve got the entire list for you as well.  (Spoiler: NYC wins again.)

120922-dirtiest-sf

No. 11 San Francisco

The foodie capital of the nation ranks near the top of the AFC for its fine dining, ethnic cuisine, and cafés. But all that takeout can pile up. A recent study found that one of the biggest culprits for pollution in the San Francisco Bay is food containers—though ironically, they may be floating in from neighboring cities. Voters also commended the locals for being brainy and diverse.

See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

The ten cities with even less civic hygiene than San Francisco are:

  1. New York City –  If you can make a mess here, you can make it anywhere.
  2. New Orleans –  The Simpsons defamed them far better than we could.
  3. Baltimore –  Quoth the raven, “Close the compactor door!”
  4. Los Angeles –  You’ll never get out of your car, so you’ll never know.
  5. Atlanta –  The litter gets moved around rather than be Gone With the Wind.
  6. Philthydelphia –  Sorry, couldn’t resist.
  7. Dallas/Fort Worth –  Everything’s bigger in Texas.
  8. Miami –  Why clean up? Another hurricane’s just around the corner.
  9. Memphis –  Elvis has left the building, but his trash hasn’t.
  10. Houston – See Dallas.  Then note they rank #7 and #10, showing that everything’s merely said to be bigger in Texas.

If you’re interested, this T&L link covers how SF has fared on all their lists.  The City by the Bay earns plenty of Top Ten rankings, and only hit bottom on Affordability, Filth, and (you didn’t see this one coming, did you?) Barbecue and Hamburgers (the latter only according to residents; we prefer the travelers’ rankings).  Worst city for barbeque: Anchorage, Alaska.

And bad news, New York City beat us again on Least Affordable.  We really have to work on that.  How about raising the price of cable car tickets to thirty bucks?  The only #1 ranking San Francisco got on anything was its residents’ vote for Ethnic Food.  Otherwise, there was plenty of Number Two all over SF.  And that brings us back to today’s topic.

120922-dirtiest-coyotecreekSee the trash in that photo on the left?  That’s Coyote Creek earlier this month (the WINNER!!! in an SF Chronicle piece on dirtiest Bay Area waterways), so San Francisco’s got nothing on us!

You can discuss the relative filth of any city you wish, including the one you live in.  Or anything at all, because this is Your Weekend Open Thread.  How filthy were the Open Houses you visited today?

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:16 am

July 19, 2012

“San Francisco housing market booms bigger than ever”

San Francisco housing market booms bigger than ever

The average monthly price of an apartment lease has risen to $2,734 — up 12.9 percent since 2011 — according to data compiled by the rental data firm Real Facts. The spike in San Francisco rents seems to be spilling over to cheaper markets like Oakland, where the average rent is now $1,835 — up 14.4 percent since last year. Pacifica, where rents now average $1,908, has experienced a 15.6 percent increase.

A recent survey by Realtor.com shows that The City’s median listing price is up 15.4 percent since last year, which matches a similar upward tick in Oakland, where the average home is selling for $379,000. The number of homes for sale in San Francisco is down 40 percent since last year, and nearly 60 percent in Oakland.

Congrats to the Real Bay Area for this tremendous achievement!

You heard it here first! This site has been calling this since… oh… 1849. Finally we are back on track to overtake Manhattan, Moscow, Japan, and other world class cities in terms of being unaffordable (e.g. exclusively awesome)!

Let’s check in with an expert, shall we?

“With the rising rents, we’re definitely seeing some people get off the fence,” Kearney said. “But still, a lot more people can afford to pay rent on a monthly basis — even if it’s higher than a mortgage payment — than those who can come up with a down payment. So we’re seeing more and more of those down payments from parents.”

That’s right! Now’s the time to buy! Unlike when the market was tanking (that was also a time to buy BTW). If you don’t buy (with your parents’ money), you’ll be priced out forever!

 

Comments (56) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:49 am

July 13, 2012

All the World’s a-Staged

Here’s a San Francisco Super Special, courtesy of Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer!  Thanks very much for finding more listings for over a thousand a foot!  Too bad this one is… you guessed it.  Pending!

501 Beale St Unit 10h
San Francisco, CA 94105
$1,174,900

120712-beale-redfin

120712-beale-viewBEDS:  2
BATHS:  2
SQ. FT.:  1,161
$/SQ. FT.:  $1,012
HOA DUES:  $750/month
LOT SIZE:  -
PROPERTY TYPE: End Unit, Luxury, Condominium
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Panoramic, City Lights, Bay, San Francisco
YEAR BUILT:  2006
COMMUNITY:  South Beach
COUNTY:  San Francisco
MLS#:  397084
SOURCE:  San Francisco MLS
STATUS: Pending
ON REDFIN:  55 days
Beautifully staged by Arthur McLaughlin. Corner unit at the Watermark. Panoramic views to East & South. Large private balcony. Maple floors, marble baths, Lutron lighting, s/s appliances, custom window coverings, 24 concierge, fitness center, pool & BBQ.

120712-beale-bathAnd here’s why PG brought you this confounded contemporary condo:

Because who staged the place is very important!

Almost as important as how much the HOA dues are on this puppy: $750 a month!  Which is actually a bargain, because that includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and most of all, one, count ‘em, ONE parking space!

But who knew that San Francisco could cost almost as much as Mountain View?

Must be because of million dollar views like this one.

120712-beale-streetview

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am